Global number of refugees hits record high

Number of refugees globally hits 65.6 million, UNHCR head calls on wealthy countries to aid war-torn countries.

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Nissan Tzur,

Refugees
Refugees
Stoyan Nenov, Reuters

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees reported that the number of people forced to leave their homes reached 65.6 million globally, representing an all-time record.

This number represents only those who had to leave their homes as a result of war or security issues, and who became refugees or immigrants.

According to the UNHCR report, the number of refugees increased by 300,000 since the end of 2015.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said that the fact that the number of refugees around the world continues to rise is testimony to the international community's failure to provide adequate solutions.

"It speaks louder than ever to the need for solidarity and common purpose in preventing and resolving crises, and ensuring together that the world’s refugees, internally displaced and asylum seekers are properly protected and cared for while solutions are pursued," he said. "We have to do better for these people."

"The world seems to have become unable to make peace. So you will see old conflicts that continue to linger, and new conflicts erupting, and both produce displacement… forced displacement is a symbol for wars that never end."

"How am I to ask countries with far less resources, in Africa, in the Middle East, in Asia, to take millions of refugees if the richer countries are refusing to do so?"

He also said he hopes wealthy countries will consider not only accepting more refugees, but also investing in promoting peace and helping to rebuild countries which were destroyed.

South Sudan has the highest number of refugees, with 340,000 people fleeing to Uganda as a result of the country's conflict. In 2016, approximately 200,000 Syrians left their homes as a result of the war with the rebels and the constant battles with ISIS.